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Comments 951 to 1000:

  1. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    Nigelj @ 13 ,

    Harrumph . . . my apologies for my poor communication, if it gave you the impression that the Iron Mountain Report qualifies as "interesting".

    The Report can certainly be described as droll satire . . . but (as the old saying goes) --> Brevity is the soul of wit.   And the Report's wit is far from briefly executed: it counts as exceedingly droll, for it is exceedingly long for its purpose.   In comparison: Mr Blair's masterpiece "1984" is not a particularly short novel, but it contains several themes, all masterfully executed and disturbingly relevant to our times.   Very little drollness to be found, apart from the irony (in today's health views) of ordinary Party members using saccharin while their bosses use sugar.  (It brings to mind that recent wonderful comment by a refugee/migrant hoping to go to live in the USA because "I want to live in a country where poor people are fat.")

    And my apologies for digressing.

  2. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    Phil, we call you deniers because you get so many things wrong, and remember all this nonsense you write is easily googled and checked, and so why wouldn't we lose patience with you?

    One example "the earth was 3-5 degrees f warmer than today and co2 was ten to 12 times higher also according to ice core data,,,"

    I have no idea where you get that from. Ice core data only goes back a million years and C02 concentrations were about 300ppm compared to about 400 ppm currently.

    Go back further and using other evidence and the PETM ( paleo eocence thermal maximum) 65 million years ago was 14 degrees celsius warmer than currently and had CO2 concentrations of around 1000 ppm, so less than 3 times more than today. This shows you just how much trouble we are getting into.

    Your claims about the sun are merely suggestions, so without much merit and have been refuted with hard data if you look at the "climate myths" list on this website, and falsely calling qualified people pseudo scientists is particularly ironic given your own rhetoric, but I doubt you would grasp this.

    I have no idea what the mountain report is about, but if Eclectic says its interesting I better have a look!

  3. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    Phil @ 11 ,

    your mention of the Iron Mountain Report is quite refreshing!   What a delightful spoof  --  a piece of exceedingly droll satire.   Though on the whole, it builds on the original ideas of Orwell's "1984" which were really more masterfully created by Orwell himself.

    But I have wandered off-topic from climate science.

    To return : Phil, it is time you made the effort to "be serious".   Please learn some science, and you will cease with the Flat Earth views you have expressed.

  4. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    why am I a denier if in 1100 ad, Eric the red discovered Greenland and it was green ?   the earth was 3-5 degrees f warmer than today and co2 was ten to 12 times higher also according to ice core data,,,,obviously it was not from mankind as fossil fuel burning did not occur until industrial revolution around 1700 ad,,,,,,,I suggest solar activity is the driver ,,,we just came out of a mini ice age and thats why it seemed like the  north pole was melting away ,,,but lets be serious and not succumb to fear pandering by psuedo scientists,,,,it goes very deep ,but I will refrain from the politics starting with the 1967 iron mtn report

  5. One Planet Only Forever at 23:59 PM on 22 June 2018
    Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    michael sweet,

    I am aware of that eventual correction. But that is a much long time being corrected, a massive length of time compared to a typical human lifetime, unlike the rate of temperature and climate correction that will occur with a rapid correction of atmospheric CO2 levels. And the damage to shellfish and coral will take even longer to correct.

    I could have added that understanding, but where do you stop, because the details and amount of ocean damage and the duration of correction then needs to be added, and then more about all related impacts due to the ocean damage ....

  6. michael sweet at 23:50 PM on 22 June 2018
    Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter


    If humans reduced the CO2 in the atmosphere the excess CO2 in the oceans would outgas and the oceans would return to normal pH.  That means that to reduce atmospheric CO2 we have to remove essentially all of the CO2 we have emitted, rather than just the amount remaining in the atmposphere.  A big job.

  7. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter


    The podcast does not imply you have to "believe".

    It does not imply all the crude oil is burnt.

    It does not say anything about removing "all" the CO2. 

    Are you sure you are not letting your preconceived and confirmatory biases affect your listening skills? Perhaps you should listen a little harder and with a more receptive open mind to what others are saying, even if you do not agree with them. 

  8. One Planet Only Forever at 14:22 PM on 22 June 2018
    Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter


    You can become more aware of all of the observations and evaluations and understanding that have been expanding and constantly improving since Arrhenius (and before Arhenius in the 1800's), fairly accurately estabished the fundamentals of what the excess CO2 from burning fossil fuels would do (review the SkS History of Climate Science here - or go to the Resource tab at the top of the page and choose Climate History). 'Belief' is not required when awareness and understanding are possible, which are possible regarding the unacceptabable impacts of the ultimately dead-end pursuit of benefit from the burning of fossil fuels.

    As for removal of all the CO2, that can easily be understood to be the removal of all the excess CO2 that has been created by the burning of fossil fuels, returning CO2 levels to 280 ppm (currently over 400 ppm and rising - see the NOAA history of CO2 levels here). However, removing the excess atmospheric CO2 will not reverse all of the damage done. A lot of the CO2 is absorbed in the ocean where it reacts to change the acidity of the oceans, which will not be reversed by removing the human increase of the CO2 from the atmosphere.

  9. One Planet Only Forever at 14:04 PM on 22 June 2018
    Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    The point Wallace Broecker makes about the companies and investors who own the buried fossil fuel resources being very determined to profit from those resources being burned is not limited to companies and investors.

    The promotion and defense of exploiting the Oil Sands of Alberta are the result of lots of Deliberate Bad Thinking by more than the corporate executives and investors. The current Federal Leaders and many of the Provincial Leaders defend/promote the undeniably unacceptable desire. In March of 2017, PM Trudeau stated “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil and just leave it in the ground. The resource will be developed. Our job is to ensure this is done responsibly, safely and sustainably.” That is populist misleading claim-making, done for very Bad Reasons. And in spite of being undeniably Bad, it is liked by a significant portion of the Canadian population.

    I have provided more information related to this "Bad Thinking" in a comment on the OP "The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground" Posted on 14 June 2018 by John Abraham.

  10. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #24

    The bit by Carlone Lucas is very good and apparently The Greens are the whacky ones ?

  11. Life after PhD

    Congratulations on your PhD, Kaitlin!

  12. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    Thanks for sharing this with us.  Your grandfather is a personal hero of mine and I am proud that Chicago can call him our own.  Best wishes to both of you.

  13. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    A somewhat biased set of statements based on recent (say, last 200 ytears or so) data and knowledge, and ignoring the aparent fact that there aere just too many unknowns on the subject.

    It is also disconcerting, to me, that too many opinions are stated as facts.

    The statement "people don't have to believe...." implies to me that it is necessary to believe in such theories, even if not fully understood: this to me is tantamount to brain washing or indoctrination, since, to me, believing does not explain a thing in science.

    It is implied that all crude oil is burnt, when in fact only about 70 % is burnt.

    Towards the end, something is stated about "removing all of the CO2 from the atmosphere": this could for sure result in the mass extinction of most vegetation and of most living beings on the continents and islands....

  14. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    William, you are very well informed, but I'm a bit unclear on that. My understanding is warm oceans are melting the ice shelf that sits around the edge of the glaciers, and this would cause glaciers to move more quickly towards the oceans. Are you saying with the ice shelf gone,  even if the oceans were cold, this would cause the face of the glaciers to retreat? Or what?

  15. Daniel Bailey at 09:22 AM on 20 June 2018
    Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    "perhaps we will be beginning to take global warming seriously"

    Every science body on the planet and the research from the petroleum extraction companies all take AGW seriously. 

    Perhaps you refer to the jaded and wrong public opinion developed due to years of paid lobbying on behalf of fossil fuel interests and wholly-owned politicians voting against the welfare of their constituents...

  16. calyptorhynchus at 09:13 AM on 20 June 2018
    Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    Wallace Broecker is a hero and when scientists and others like him begin to get the recognition they derserve then perhaps we will be beginning to take global warming seriously.

  17. Wally Broeker: Father of “Global Warming”, in a Warning to his Granddaughter

    Excellent video that simplifies the issues down to the essentials and very heartfelt.

    Most climate scientists make a huge effort when speaking in public, but they are not trained in public speaking and rhetorical debate, and in my experience they sometimes lack clarity and confidence. Science is often presented as a series of arguments with the conclusion at the end. I have heard one scientist run out of interview time before he even get to the important points.

    But many perfectly good books have already been written on the climate issue and there are many good structured video presentations. It's not as if theres a magical way of packaging the message that "CO2 is causing global warming" that will suddenly change the denialists minds.

  18. How much does animal agriculture and eating meat contribute to global warming?

    The IPCC reports do account for effects of land use change in terms of carbon cover lost and change of albedo. Carbon losses from soil are not so well accounted for but note that deep prairie soils under grazing hold more carbon than forest. Farming in way that increases soil OC rather than deplete it is the challenge.

  19. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    The main problem could be a simple physical fact.  At pressure the melting point of ice is depressed.  At present, the deep, circumpolar water is flowing down the retrograde slopes of Gaciers such as Pine Island and Thwaites and melting ice at the grounding line.  This water is warmer than it used to be.  However, even if we managed to halt this process and the circumpolar water went back to its pre industrial temperature, the suppression of the melting point of ice at the grounding line would likely cause the retreat of these glaciers to continue.  The water, which is a mix of the salty water flowing down the slope and melted ice, flows up the ice ceiling and is super cooled with respect to the shallower depths.  Ice is deposited on the underside of the floating ice but this ice is lost to the ocean every year or so.  Since we are extremely unlikely to reverse our output of CO2 any time soon, we are in double trouble as the circumpolar deep water keeps getting warmer.

  20. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    Very interesting article; very concerning.
    Quick question: If I add up the individual contributors (data since 2012), I don't get the total, what is the missing component? Or are my numbers wrong?
    Contributors: Warming (1.3mm), Glaciers (0.75), Greenland (0.78), Antarctica (0.6) ... Sum of contributors (3.43mm) ... Total given in article (4.5mm).  ... Thanks!

  21. How much does animal agriculture and eating meat contribute to global warming?

    Thanks for a very informative post. 

    Is it not also worth considering the net GHG effect of animal agriculture? I.e. not just the basic carbon and methane emissions, but also the loss of potential carbon sequestration from the deforestation necessary to maintain the system?


    If we look at various types of human land use change, it seems that the majority is for animal agriculture in 2 major forms; the largest being pasture land for grazing cattle, and sheep, etc. and the next largest being the amount of cropland farmed specifically as animal-feed for chicken, pigs and grain-fed factory farm cattle, etc.

    Hence if we could end animal agriculture, restore pastures to forest for greater carbon sequestration, and use the cropland solely to feed the human vegan population, then would it not rank higher as a significant impact on reducing GHG's?

    Certainly higher than energy and transport sectors, which have comparitively little deforestation footprints.

    Just a thought..

  22. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #24

    The Pope is also advised by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, with 80 members, appointed for life, and which has been following climate science since about 1980.

  23. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    Scaddenp @4 yes there's not as much area of ice now in N America or continental Europe,  but about half of the sea level rise of mwp 1a appears to be from Antarctica,  and that area hasn't changed much.

    It just looks like theres the potential for breakup of Antarctica to add more to sea level rise than we thought. It looks like Antarctica added 2M per century during mwp 1a, so even if we assumed it added only half that to  current global estimates, that would still be huge.

    J Hansen proposes that much higher numbers are possible, and must have his reasons but I confess I haven't read the details of what he says.

  24. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    Hmm, while accelarating sealevel rise is undoubtedly a worry, it is also worth noting that at time of meltwater pulse a1, there was a great deal more ice to contribute to it and it was in higher latitudes. On other hand, rate of warming is much higher. Still, say 5cm of ice melting off a millions of sq km of ice is probably still a lot more water than 20cm of melt from a thousands of sq km. The higher latitude also means the albedo feedback is more significant.

  25. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    10 meters would flood New York City and most of Florida. 

    (scratches chin)

    Is there some way to speed this up?   

  26. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    Related material: Flooding from sea level rise threatens over 300,000 US coastal homes – study. Climate change study predicts ‘staggering impact’ of swelling oceans on coastal communities within next 30 years.

  27. Should we be worried about surging Antarctic ice melt and sea level rise?

    Great video. So meltwater pulse 1a caused approximately 20 metres total sea level rise over approx. 500 years, that is approx. 4 metres per century! J Hansen is rightly screaming at us to pay attention to this. People would have to be asleep not to see the urgent significance.

    It's associated with a period of abrupt warming of approximately 5 degrees celsius, that happened somewhere over a period of a few decades to a couple of centuries. 

    There are two competing theories of the origins of the meltwater. Firstly its could have been caused by ice sheet collapse over North America, and theres good evidence for this, but this only accounts for about half of sea level rise. Secondly theres very good evidence collapse of ice sheets in the Antarctic accounts for at least the other half, which would be approx. 2 metres per century. So imho maybe its a combination of both events.

    So the bottom line is theres virtually no doubt that sea level rise has been rapid in the past, so ice sheets can destabilise quickly.

    Modern warming is rapid, and could hit 5 degrees celsius by 2100 so is not dissimilar to rates during mwp 1a. We already have recent evidence that melting is accelerating in the antarctic. It just all suggests 2 metres sea level rise by 2100 is very plausible, and probably likely, and you could not rule out more. I don't think it would be exponential acceleration but it would be getting close. This would be devastating, and would totally reshape the planet's coast lines, and would clearly go on for centuries.

  28. jardenblack26 at 00:28 AM on 19 June 2018
    2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #24

    Pope Francis taking climate change seriously, and having some mathematical insight, may relate to the fact he attended a technical secondary school and graduated with a chemical technicians diploma (according to wikipedia, I checked out of curiosity).

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Copying and pasting someone else's post is not acceptable.

  29. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #24

    Pope  Francis taking climate change seriously, and having some mathematical insight, may relate to the fact he attended a technical secondary school and graduated with a chemical technicians diploma (according to wikipedia, I checked out of curiosity).

  30. One Planet Only Forever at 15:00 PM on 17 June 2018
    The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    An additional Bad Thinking related to the push to export diluted bitumen rather than upgrade the bitumen into oil or refine it into end products ready to burn is the attempt to 'reduce the appearance of Canada's GHG impacts'.

    By doing the least possible before exporting the product, the GHGs generated in Canada are lowest, allowing Leaders in Canada to make more misleading claims about how "Good Canada is on GHGs".

    I reluctantly agree that the less fortunate should be allowed to benefit from the burning of fossil fuels as a brief transition to sustainable better living. But in many cases the best assistance for the less fortunate is to completely by-pass the fossil fuel burning stage, going straight to decentralized renewable energy production with an interconnecting grid as backup supply in cases where the renewables temporarily suffer a regional failure to meet the needs.

    That means that already more fortunate people should no longer be allowed to benefit.

    As a step towards that correction, perhaps the International community needs to start counting 'all of the GHGs that will be generated by fossil fuels exported by nations with per-capita GDP that is higher than the global average' as part the GHGs generated by that more fortunate exporting nation, as well as in the end user nations. That will double count some GHGs, but the intent is to limit the pursuit of benefit by already more fortunate people, and the double counting is a way to shed a brighter light on undeserving bad thinking alreday more fortunate pursuers of more benefit from fossil fuel burning.

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 14:33 PM on 17 June 2018
    The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    The development and defence of increased rates of Oil Sands extraction in Alberta are the result of bad excuses developed by bad thinking, thinking that is worse than the kind of thinking that Guy P. Harrison eloquently argues needs to be overcome by increased “Good Thinking” (title of one of his books) increased reality-based, rational, scientific, skeptical, critical thinking. It is more like the thinking of mere children warned about by John Stuart Mill in “On Liberty” when he states that “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”

    I say it is worse than thinking that Guy's Good Thinking is intended to overcome which is because of a lack of awareness by the thinker leading them to make poorer choices. It is worse because the motivation for the bad thinking is socioeconomic winners/leaders trying to create popular bad excuses and form carefully crafted misleading messaging to attempt to increase or prolong their ability to unjustifiably and ultimately unsustainably Win.

    That ability of misleading messages to be appealing is similarly not the result of totally unaware recipients of the messages. People liking those messages are also likely allowing their thinking to be motivated by selfish personal interest (the wealthier or more influential the person is in the socioeconomic system, the less likely it is that they are unaware of the unacceptability of what they are choosing to believe, but selfishness can also be a powerful motivator of Bad Thinking among the less aware).

    The bad thinking by winners/leaders, and many others in the population (portion of humanity) they appeal to, can be understood to be an expected result of people growing up (developing their thinking) in a competitive consumer marketing focused socioeconomic system where popularity and profitability are deemed to be the best measures of value or merit, and where appearing to be the winner is all that matters (consideration for others, especially future generations, are excused away). The system naturally develops encouragement for people to try to get away with behaving less responsibly, less ethically, less helpfully, more harmfully.

    The people willing to try to be less ethical will have a competitive advantage as long as they can get away with it. And misleading messages appealing to selfishness motivated bad thinkers increases the chances of winning that way.

    And there are many things that develop to further encourage understandably bad behaviour: Bad Laws, Bad Legal Decisions, Bad Government policy, Bad Business leadership, Bad Consumer behaviour, Bad Thinking being governed by short-term tribal interests in pursuit of obtaining maximum personal benefit any way that can be gotten away with (almost always at the expense of others, and usually with an awareness that their Winning is to the detriment of others).

    In this pipeline case the legal system was developed with rules that legally defend (justify) understandably harmful behaviour (because all interests should be balanced - in favour of current day benefit for the more influential), and can result in legal decisions in defence of understandably bad thinking. Note that the pipeline promoters have had the ability to keep pursuing an understandably Bad Thought as many times as needed to eventually Win, and then likely have that win be defended forevermore, including the related bad thinking that if at any future time the general public becomes more aware of the unacceptability of the win, that future general public will have to be pay the people who pursued personal benefit from that Bad Thinking what those Bad Thinking people claim to have lost (and that future generation will also have almost no ability to extract wealth in the future from the people who may be discovered to have actually illegally obtained their winning in the past).

    Government leaders also exhibit Bad Thinking because of the temporary regional benefits that understandably bad unsustainable economic development will generate, at the expense of other life, especially at the expense of future generations who cannot continue to benefit that way and get nothing but the future trouble that is created. Leaders exhibit bad thinking when they strive to encourage popular support for such activities.

    The currently developed Oil Sands of Alberta are the result of lots of Bad Thinking. And the current day defence/promotion by the current Federal Leaders and many of the Provincial Leaders is near the pinnacle of Bad Thinking. In March of 2017, PM Trudeau stated “No country would find 173 billion barrels of oil and just leave it in the ground. The resource will be developed. Our job is to ensure this is done responsibly, safely and sustainably.” That is populist misleading claim-making, done for very Bad Reasons.

    To begin, there is absolutely nothing sustainable about benefiting from burning fossil fuel. The PM cannot rationally claim to misunderstand this point, so, by default, he knows that oil sands extraction is fundamentally unsustainable. Only bad excuses can be made to claim there is anything sustainable about it. And the claim attempts to side-step consideration of the responsibility to safely protect the future generations from the impacts of burning up all that fossil fuel (those responsibility and safety considerations actually being contrary to the stated objective of the current generation benefiting from all of the oil sands being burned up). And that undeniably unacceptable Bad Thinking is made more appealing by explaining that money from the burning up of the oil sands will pay for things like education, health care and assistance to the poor.

    Those claims of the benefits obtained from promoting and defending this activity never explain what happens in the future when no one can practically benefit from fossil fuel burning. And they completely ignore the future challenges and costs that will have been developed, often poorly excused by claiming that growing the GDP today by pursuing unsustainable harmful activity will result in sustained growth of GDP into the future (perhaps by counting the future human efforts to deal with the results of rapid climate change to be 'counted as beneficial economic activity', just as nation rebuilding after wars is a great economic boost, on top of the war-time boost of weapons and war machine production).

    In their defence, many elected leaders are powerfully motivated to get revenue from things like the oil sands because 'lower taxes' is the law (or at least it is so popular it might as well be a law). Their focus on current day revenue can ignore what will happen in the future, because a powerful Bad Thinking portion of the population 'likes that type of leadership - leadership incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives (as JS Mill would refer to it)'.

    And there is more of that type of popular profitable Bad Thinking by Leaders regarding the Oil Sands of Alberta. It is estimated that the current developed Oil Sands have a clean-up obligation that is greater than $20 billion dollars. And bad laws created by bad thinking leaders wanting to encourage the development of the oil sands do not require oil sands operations to fully fund their clean up until decades into the future (coal operators have to provide funds for the full clean-up from the day they start a mine).

    As things like Better Helpful Thinking are developing globally, there may not be decades of revenue from the oil sands, in spite of the glowing evaluations of the future for the oil sands by groups that have a vested interest in prolonging the unjustified popular support for the oil sands. If more oil sands is not sold soon, the near future general population of Alberta and Canada will have nobody who benefited most being obliged to properly clean it up, all that wealth created in the past being worthless/useless in the future.

    And all of this started in the 1990s when Bad Selfish Motives ruled and fuelled the development of more Bad Thinking among leaders/winners in business and politics and in the general regional/tribal population. At that time the unacceptability of the global burning of fossil fuels was well understood by all leaders in business and politics. Yet badly motivated bad thinking prevailed.

    And here we are today, having to try to limit/correct the mess developed by Bad Motives being allowed to develop Bad Thinking and the related Bad Excuse Making that is popular among the Badly Motivated self-interested Bad Thinkers.

    'People having more freedom to believe what they want in pursuit of their personal interest to appear to be the winners in competitions for popularity and profitability' will undeniably develop more Bad Thinking, likely worse than the Bad Thinking that developed and still attempts to defend the Alberta Oil Sands problem.

    I will close with a quote from the 1987 UN Report "Our Common Future" that accurately captured the bad thinking that has developed the oil sands problem. Note that 1987 predates the bad thinking of the 1990s that pushed for expanding oil sands extraction.

    "25. Many present efforts to guard and maintain human progress, to meet human needs, and to realize human ambitions are simply unsustainable - in both the rich and poor nations. They draw too heavily, too quickly, on already overdrawn environmental resource accounts to be affordable far into the future without bankrupting those accounts. They may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses. We borrow environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. They may damn us for our spendthrift ways, but they can never collect on our debt to them. We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote; they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions.
    26. But the results of the present profligacy are rapidly closing the options for future generations. Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss. Most of the young voters of today will still be alive. In the Commission's hearings it was the young, those who have the most to lose, who were the harshest critics of the planet's present management."

  32. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    It's hard for me to see exponential rise in melting of the antarctic, like a doubling or tripling per decade, given most climate trends are following more of a quadratic trend. But I agree its going to be far more than 3.5mm per year, and I think multi metre sea level rise by 2100 is a real possibility.

  33. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    Apologies.  I must have been having a mathematical melt down.  The story is more like this.  If we are indeed trebbling the melt rate every decade and if this is truly an exponential curve then it means that the melt rate is increasing by about 11.6% each year (1.116 raised to the tenth power equals 2.997).  You then have to raise 1.116 to the eighty second power (number of years remaining in the century)  to see what the melt rate will be at the end of this century.  Clearly a ridiculous answer (I hope).  I think we will find that after a couple of more decades, we won't see a trippling each decade from the previous decade.  It does suggest, though, that we are in for far more than 3.5mm per year for the rest of the century.

  34. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24

    I probably would not have picked this one.  It might be true or not. 

    The fact that we are using and misusing antibiotics on a biblical scale, particularly in food production in the tropics, confounds the data available, which makes it look like sensationalizing.

    Just a niggle really.

  35. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    1 Nigel

    Depends if this is part of an exponential curve or just a blip in a linear curve.  (can we call a linear graph a curve.  Probably).  A few more years should clarify this.  If each decade we tripple the melting then we raise 1.03 to the eighth power to get the melting by the end of the century and integrate under the curve to see how much total water has entered the oceans.  Not a pretty picture.

  36. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    I wonder if that is indeed true - that the poorest will suffer the most.  Yes, the poor in the slums and favelas of the world will likely be in dire straights but the bigger they are the harder they fall.  If sea level rise overcomes the cities of the world that have been placed where rivers meet the sea, the economic strain on these countries will be extreem.  We have seen how poorly even a very rich country like the USA coped with Katrina.  Multiply that an order of magnitude or two and the highly over-extended economies of such countries may well collapse.

  37. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    Here are my thoughts about the Tar Sands and Kinder Morgan. Please bear in mind that my family has been in the Albertan Oil business since 1930. One of my uncles designed, built, and operated Shell’s Scotford Upgrader. Another uncle ran Mobil Oil’s Atlantic Offshore operation from Norway to Sable Island. Grandpa worked the cable tool rig in Calgary’s Heritage Park. Most of my family still works the oil fields.

    The price for WCS is lower than any other crude because no one wants to buy it.

    Western Canada Select sells at a discount because it is the worst, and most expensive, crude to bring to market:
    it takes massive quantities of natural gas and water to separate the bitumin from the sand. Current estimates suggest that our production uses 1 barrel of crude to produce 4 barrels of crude. The Saudi’s produce 70 barrels of crude for each barrel of input energy;
    it is the worst crude to make a profit because the diluent used to liquify the crude is worth twice as much as the crude;
    it is the worst crude to refine because it needs an upgrader facility just to make it approach normal heavy crude values;
    it needs two pipelines to get to market - one to get the diluted crude to tidewater, and another pipeline to pump the diluent back to the wellhead for reuse;
    it is the most dangerous to move by rail because the diluent used to liquify the crude is explosive;
    it is the worst crude for pollution because it produces huge amounts of CO2, petroleum coke, polluted water, devastated boreal forest, and catastrophic environmental damage when it spills at sea.

    Exxon/Mobil Canadian subsidiary Esso now values its Kearl tar sands operation as WORTHLESS for SEC and accounting purposes. Many other majors (Statoil, Shell, Marathon Oil) have left Fort Mac and won't return as there are many other places that produce oil of much higher quality, for much lower cost.

    The Cowgry oil industry, after quacking for 100 years about the nobility of free enterprise, and the utility of the market, now hope the Gubment and the rest of the country, will shout ‘Mommy’s coming’. This is hysterically funny, and contemptibly hypocritical, but not a rational basis for energy investment or economic development.


    Renewables have dropped dramatically in cost. The same market forces that removed any chance of competitive, unsubsidized energy from coal and nuclear power are now going to peel off the lowest quality crude oils from the market. This process will continue until crude oil is completely replaced as an energy source by natural gas and renewables.

    The future of the Albertan oil fields will be in petrochemicals, not energy. Most of our energy will come from the sustained, high-velocity winds that blow across southern Alberta.

  38. Ari Jokimäki at 15:10 PM on 16 June 2018
    New research, June 4-10, 2018

    Nigelj, I change the order of the papers weekly so that each subsection gets the "headline section" once in three weeks.

  39. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    Correction:  The 2nd para should begin by saying 'While the Paper does not specify the magnitude ...

  40. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    In their Paper, Hansen et al 2016 note that . . . . ‘sea level reached +6.9 m in the Eemian, a time that we have concluded was probably no more than a few tenths of a degree warmer than to-day’. Mean global temperature is predicted to be well in excess of the Eemian by 2100.

    While the Paper does specify the magnitude of sea level rise likely by 2100, it can be argued that, given that CO2/CH4 concentrations in the atmosphere already exceed by 40%/267% the levels present during the Eemian thermal meximum, sea level rise in excess of the level then reached is at least possible by 2100.

    You may also be interested in this video in which Dr Hansen discusses the work embodied in Hansen et al 2016. Based on decadal doubling of ice mass loss during the 21st century, I estimate SLR by 2100 would exceed 6 metres. This view seems to be supported by recent research undertaken by the IMBIE Team and published on 12 June 18 in Nature.

  41. New research, June 4-10, 2018

    Other research: Antarctic ice is melting three times as fast as a decade ago.  This is obviously very concerning. What are implications for sea level rise by 2100? Has anyone calculated this? 

    I find the list of research above very comprehensive, but in a confusing order. Wouldn't it make more sense to order it science first, then human impacts, then mitigation?

  42. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    The only way tar sands will be stopped is if they are made uneconomical by, for instance, the continual reduction of the cost of renewable electricity and the continual uptake of electric vehicles.    At the risk of having my comment removed, we thought that the recent Canadian election would solve the problem.  Sadly no.  We must try again next election.

  43. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    What absolute tripe. The majority of tar sands production comes from in-situ technologies and is in general no worse than any other oil production mechanism and in the preferred embodiment, is cleaner than other oil production methods. 

    Petcoke can be put to good use such as the CVR refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas does by converting it to ammonia for fertilizer.

    Rather than all the caterwauling why not put your considerable brain power to use to solve carbon emissions. There's plenty of evidence to show that new soil science methods technically can store all anthropogenic emissions in the soil and if implemented widely could reduce atmospheric carbon to pre-industrial levels within 50 years.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Inflammatory sloganeering snipped. 

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  44. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    Riduna, keep an eye on Norway. They're well ahead of the rest of the world on EV adoption (~50% of new car sales and >5% of total fleet) and in 2017 they saw a corresponding reduction in petroleum fuels usage for the first time.

    Thus, as Norway continues down this road it will likely provide guideposts for how much EV adoption in other countries will be required to reach a given level of petroleum fuel reduction, how quickly that can happen, where any inflection points might occur, etc.

  45. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    In an essay on coming problems for oil producers, I argued that up-take of electric and hybrid vehicles by 2023-25 was likely to result in reduced demand for oil and its refined products. The essay concluded that, possibly as soon as 2023, demand for oil-based fuels could contract by 2 million bbl/day resulting in a continually growing oil glut as EV sales increased.

    Faced with the disruption of a contracting market, refineries would reduce and eventually cease purchase of those crude oils which were the most difficult and expensive to refine. These are the Extra Heavy and Heavy oils produced by Canada, Venezuela, Indonesia and several other countries.

    Extra Heavy crude are undeniably the most polluting and damaging to the environment but are likely to be the first to cease production, probably by 2023 and will be followed by Heavy crude oil, not because of their damaging effect but for purely commercial reasons.

    Uninformed or ignorant politicians and judges may prolong use of Extra Heavy crude and this should be resisted now but over the next 5 years it is likely to occur anyway. In the meantime it is good to see people like John Abraham and James Hansen call-out those who produce and use these oils.

  46. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Worth noting that there is now comprehensive review published here concluding "it lost 2,720 ± 1,390 billion tonnes of ice between 1992 and 2017, which corresponds to an increase in mean sea level of 7.6 ± 3.9 millimetres (errors are one standard deviation). "

    More importantly, it discusses the reasons behind the different estimates and why the variation, especially with ICESet altimetry data.

  47. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    This horrible tar sands oil is expensive and hard to extract, so is dependent on low oil prices continuing, and a friendly american and european market. Looks like a big gamble.

    Canada has become very reliant on oil exports (20% of exports), and the boom bust oil cycle prices affects their currency hurting manufacturing.

    They spend 3 billion a year propping up their oil industry, and the effects of tar sands oil on the local environment, indigenous peoples,  and climate are horrendous and well known.

    Looks like Canada has made a deal with the devil.

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21

    It seems mysterious why tar sand oil is minded in the first place, given its such a low quality, high extraction cost, environmentally devastating resource. I found some brief background on Canadas tar sands and environmental impacts here, and a history of extraction, export strategies, and pipelines controversies here.

    It appears the primary reasons for mining tar sands are that Canada has huge reserves of tar sands, so is influenced by this , and has close ties with the American market, and oil and fuel products comprise approximately 20 % of Canadas exports, so there's already a large inbuilt dependency .

    But it seems to me like Canada has taken a huge long term gamble that demand will continue be sufficient to pay for the high capital costs, and this goes against climate policies in its export countries to reduce oil consumption that are likely to increase, and cheap oil resulting  from fracking in the USA.

    This tar sand oil is only truly economic at $100 barrel, and this figure fluctuates wildly. The boom and bust oil cycle leads to swings in the Canadian curreny value that hurt their substantial manufacturing sector. Canada also gives the oil industry three billion dollars each year in subsidies here so its artificially propped up.

    The environmental impacts are huge, off the scale.

    Its like Canada has made a deal with the devil.

  49. 97% of Climate Scientists Really Do Agree

    Related research: Climate scepticism in the media. Brilliant article. 

  50. The legal fight to leave the dirtiest fossil fuels in the ground

    The fact that we burn gasoline in Minnesota derived from the Alberta Tar sands was one of the factors that influenced my wife and I to switch to driving an EV.

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